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Conductor Michael Christie wins 2019 Grammy Award for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Conductor Michael Christie, the newly appointed music director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, wins the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for leading the world premiere recording of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with The Santa Fe Opera. In this astounding new opera, composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell explore the spiritual evolution of one of the most influential men of modern times as he creates a revolutionary new world of technological empowerment, then discovers a larger world within himself.

“Words can hardly describe the excitement I feel for the incredible teams that brought The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs to life in Santa Fe,” says Michael Christie. “I’m eternally grateful to The Santa Fe Opera and its magnificent orchestra and production teams that went all out for this unique premiere. Liz Ostrow and her recording team were stunning in their capture of our live performance and I’m thrilled to share this Grammy with her.”

In 2017, Christie led the world premiere performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera, “with suave assurance” as praised by the San Francisco Chronicle, with “precision and pizzazz” by the Santa Fe New Mexican, and “preside[d] over an expertly executed performance,” according to The Financial Times. PENTATONE released The Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere recording of the work on June 15, 2018.

Michael Christie leads performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with San Francisco Opera from June 16 - July 3, 2020. Additional 2019-2020 season highlights include Christie leading Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and his first full season as Music Director of the New West Symphony. In the 2018-19 season, Christie leads performances of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater; Wagner’s Das Rheingold with Opéra de Montréal; Verdi’s La Traviata with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Verdi’s Rigoletto with Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera; Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath with Michigan Opera Theatre; and Puccini's La bohème with Des Moines Metro Opera.

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs is directed by Kevin Newbury and begins at a critical moment in Jobs’ life, examining the people and experiences that shaped him: his father’s mentorship, his devotion to Buddhism, his relationships, his rise and fall as a mogul, and finally his marriage to Laurene Jobs, who showed him the power of human connection. The role of Steve Jobs is sung by baritone Edward Parks, joined by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke as his wife Laurene Powell, baritone Kelly Markgraf as his father Paul Jobs, bass Wei Wu as Kôbun Chino Otogawa, Jobs’ spiritual advisor, and tenor Garrett Sorenson as Woz, his friend and business partner.

Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. The New York Times reports, “Michael Christie is a director open to adventure and challenge,” and the Cincinnati Enquirer declares, “If Michael Christie represents the future of music in this country, the future looks promising indeed.”

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